Judaica in Leiden
An exhibition in Leiden University Library at the occasion of the Congress
of European Association of Jewish Studies, Amsterdam 21-25 juli 2002.
Manuscript onparchment, 15th century, Southern Europe.
Fully vocalised and accentuated script.
Or. 1197, f. 46r.
¶ Hebrew Bible with decorative Masora. This text contains the standard
corpus of clerical annotations developed in the early Middle Ages by the
Masoretes, here in the shape of decorative microscript. Apart from the
geometric and floral patterns, which can be found throughout the manuscript,
some images of animals occur in this small-sized and attractive copy of
Manuscript on parchment, 12th or 13th century,
Mediterranean. Oriental square script.
Or.4737, f. 41r.
¶ The Book of Leviticus in a separate volume, with Masora and illuminations
in a typical oriental style reminiscent of Qur’an texts (note the use
of verse indicators).
Written by Chasdai ben Yeshua in the year 1604 of the Seleucid Era (1292-1293
Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac (Rashi) (1040-1105).
Manuscript on parchment, 1270, Northern Europe. Ashkenazi semi-cursive
Or. 4718, f. 186r.
Early copy of Rashi’s complete commentary on the Bible. Rashi, who lived
in the North of France, was educated in the Medieval Rhine cities of Mainz
and Worms. Here the foundations were laid which led him to compose one
of the most important commentaries on the Bible and the Talmud, thus preserving
the traditions of the classical Rabbinic period for posterity. Because
of the early date of this meticulously and expensively executed copy,
its text is regarded as highly reliable.
Manuscript onparchment, 1400. Ashkenazi semi-cursive script.
Or. 4765, ff. 2v-3r.
¶ Collection of exegetical notes by the pupils of Rashi, commonly referred
to as the Tosafist School, but erroneously ascribed to Joseph Bekhor
Shor of Orléans. Many of the anthologies composed by the Tosafists lean
heavily on Rashi, Joseph Bekhor Shor and other individually quoted exegetes.
They are the biblical counterpart of the better known Tosafist commentaries
on the Babylonian Talmud.
on the Pentateuch
Jefet ha-Levi (10th century). Manuscript on paper,
16th century, Ottoman Empire. Oriental semi-cursive script.
Or. 4740, f. 1r.
¶ Karaïte commentary on Exodus and Leviticus. The author of this work
is one of the most famous Karaïtes of the 10th century. He
is well-known for his commentaries on the Bible and his rendering of the
Bible into Arabic.
This manuscript contains notes by the 17th century Dutch orientalist
and collector Levinus Warner (1619-1665).